See through which are poisonous wolfberries

In order to cater to people’s consumption psychology, some bad businessmen set up the wrong idea of dyeing inferior Chinese wolfberry to deceive layman consumers.


Some goji berry is bright red, and it fades with a light touch. It is soaked in water, and the water is red like tomato juice. It is dyed.

According to professionals, the fruit of Lycium barbarum is generally characterized by spindle-shaped or oval shape, small ends, a slightly flattened surface dark red but not bright, irregular wrinkles and slightly glossy; prominent style marks at the top, white stem marks at the base; flexible pericarp, soft pulp, containing most light yellow-brown flat kidney-shaped seeds, sweet and sour taste.

It is understood that the General Administration of Quality Supervision and Inspection issued a bulletin in May 2004, demanding the quality and technical conditions required for the planting and production and processing technologies of Lycium barbarum, with special reference to the “prohibition of sulfur fumigation or dyeing processing”.

However, driven by interests, the abuse of sulfur and pigments in dyeing Lycium barbarum is still common in recent years.

Fresh wolfberries have different colours because of their different origins, but they are soft, lustrous and fleshy; while dyed wolfberries are mostly old goods in the past years, which are poor in meat quality and lustrous in sense, but attractive in appearance. Therefore, when buying wolfberries, we must not be greedy for “color”.

Especially the dyed wolfberry is red, even the small white spot on the base of wolfberry is red, while the normal wolfberry tip is mostly yellow or white, the wolfberry base stained with pigments is red, and the wolfberry base baked with sulphur is dark brown.

Because the wolfberry dyed with pigments is particularly afraid of water, it is suggested that when choosing wolfberries, we can put several grains into the water, or rub them with wet hands on purpose. If the color fades, it means that the pigments have been used.

Both Lycium barbarum and Lycium barbarum in Inner Mongolia are oblong, but Lycium barbarum in Ningxia will rise after soaking in water, Lycium barbarum in Inner Mongolia will sink, while Lycium barbarum in Xinjiang is round and easy to distinguish.

These kinds of wolfberries are of the highest quality with big and full grains. Because after soaking with alum, wolfberry grains will become bigger, so many businesses use this method. But alum-soaked wolfberry is very good to distinguish, if this kind of wolfberry is irradiated by light, there will be shining spots on the surface of medicinal materials; in addition, “poisonous wolfberry” feels sticky, while natural wolfberry is drier.

For the Chinese wolfberry fumigated by sulphur, just grab a handful and cover it with your hands for a while, then put it under your nose to smell. If you can smell the irritating choking smell, then you can be sure to be fumigated by sulphur.

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